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Minecraft using near 100% of core 4 of I5-2500K

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December 27, 2011 3:06:22 PM

Disclaimer: I play solitaire...that's it; this is a PC for my 19 year-old stepson.

For Christmas I bought the parts and put together the following:
I5-2500K
Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 MB
8gb Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 7-8-7-20 RAM
Corsair Force Series 3 90gb SATA 3 SSD HD
Corsair HX850 Silver Certified PS
Cooler Master Hyper N520 Cooler
Sapphire HD 6970 Video Card
Antec 902 v3 case
Windows 7 Home 64 bit
Running Webroot AV rather than Norton

There are two basic issues I am facing:

First, discrepancies between the Gigabyte temperature monitor and other monitors. In the BIOS the temps show around 35C idle, but in operation, the Gigabyte monitor shows 31-32 while other monitors show 40 to 44. I have seen other threads showing similar results so I think the Gigabyte software is at fault.

I used the Gigabyte OC program which opens the Turbo-Boost to 4.3ghz.

Playing Minecraft the temp of Core 4 reached 59 to 60 degrees, setting off the alarm I had set in the bios. Idle was about 44 degrees. CPU usage for Core 4 was holding right around 90%. The other cores were virually inactive.

So is this typical of a Java based game such as Minecraft? Anything to be done about it, or just set the alarm for 70C?

I am going to remove the cooler, check the Arctic Silver paste (maybe I used too much), clean and reseat the cooler. I did this on my old Opteron...found I had used too much grease...and that made about a 3 to 5 degree difference.

He has the case in a large oak computer desk, in a side drawer without access to outside air. I found it got hot in there. Has anybody modified such a desk to put an exhaust fan in it? Or does one just need to leave the door open when in use.

So any suggestions, comments, or is this typical and not to worry about?

Thank you
Art



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December 27, 2011 4:37:16 PM

Hello Art,
I happen to have build a very similar system on the same motherboard with the i7 instead of the i5. Maybe I can compare behavior with yours?

I launched minecraft and sure enough, the fourth core is using nearly 100%, and the other cores are barely active. I don't think I would worry too much about it, it may just run primarily on a single core instead of actively using all your cores (just an assumption)

My i7 also ran very hot, 92c under load (prime95 torture test) and 45-50c idle with the stock cooler. However, I replaced with an aftermarket cooler (Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro) and now the temperature hardly goes over 50c. So maybe the stock cooler on the second gen i5s and i7s just are not efficient.

As far as your discrepancies go with your temps, try updating to the latest BIOS (turns out my bios wasn't the latest one, yours might be). You can find this at http://ca.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/download-cente...

I've found that a difference of a few degrees seems common with different heat monitoring, especially at idle temperatures. Speedfan tells me my idle is between 17-22c (which is not really possible when the room is 24c). The temps you want to look at are under load. Try stressing your computer (Prime95's torture test does this quite well) to see what temps your CPU reaches, and compare those temps from your Motherboard utility against a third party program like Speedfan (I've found mine to be accurate within 1-2 degree difference).

The temps of the individual cores can go quite high, the only temp that is of concern is the actual CPU temp. If you look in your Gigabyte monitoring utility (Touchbios?) you can see in PC Status your CPU temp. That is the one you want to watch, and as long as it's below 73c or so you should be fine.

If your temps go beyond that, make sure your Heatsync is seated properly and that the thermal compound is applied correctly (there are varying opinions on what the correct method is, I'd say do either the small glob in the center or the plastic card thin-layer application).

I would also recommend that you do not leave the computer in an enclosed area because like you said, it gets quite hot in there. If the door is open while it is in operation, or if you cut some holes in the side and back of the desk that should be sufficient, providing there is plenty of cool air flow through the case.

Hope this helps
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December 27, 2011 5:33:27 PM

Thank you for the reply.

I will open the Touch BIOS to get its temp reads as well, and have one or two other temp reads up. I was relying on the one from the ETA 6 or whatever the little Gigabyte utility program was, which was showing close to 10C cooler!

My cooler is not stock. It is tne N520 from Cooler Master, which I use on my own machine with the 65 watt I5-2400S. The 2400S idles around 29, and rarely gets above 35, so I am not sure if I botched up on the thermal paste. I was tempted to put only the rice-sized bead in the center, but then went for some very thin lines.

So I will clean the surfaces and reseat the cooler.

I think I mentioned I used the Gigabyte "OC for Dummies" to allow Turbo-Boost to run up to 4.3 GHZ. I think as CPU intensive as Minecraft is, it may have kept the frequency up there, basically using one core. I backed it down (max 3.7ghz) and that took about 5C off of it.

Of final note, there is a new Minecraft server version out, 1.0.1, that may be designed to take advantage of multiple cores. I have my stepson checking on it. He was not aware of it (but Google it and you will find it) and that may make things run better by spreading the load. I also saw one person who had a similar experience, and whose CPU use suddenly and without modification dropped...so who knows.

I will keep you posted, and if I learn more about server 1.0.1 will let you know.
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December 27, 2011 6:20:31 PM

Yeah i didn't know about the 1.0.1 version, looked it up and you're right looks like it's supposed to use multi-threading much more efficiently (I guess the 1.0 is multi-threaded but still leans heavily on a single core).

And if the temp of your individual cores are over 60 i still wouldn't worry, like i said the CPU temp as shown in your PC statues in touch bios is the one that matters under load, and as long as it's below 70 (ideally below 60 but I think intel says 70 is fine) then you shouldn't be too worried about it. I'm not sure on the quality of your aftermarket cooler so I can't comment on it, however I will try boosting my own CPU to see what temps I get. Did you only increase the turbo boost or did you overclock the base speed of the CPU as well?
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December 27, 2011 6:41:07 PM

OK I used the gigabyte utility to overclock turbo boost to 4.42ghz and under max load (prime 95 torture test) I stabilize at 68c core temp. However when I was running at 3.5 my temp would not go over 50. So I guess temperatures like that at 4.3 ghz are not out of proportion, your aftermarket cooler seems to be doing it's job.

Everything seems great on your stepson's PC (other than being in an enclosed space, be sure to allow proper air circulation as a general guideline). If you are still worried about the temps, you could always leave the turbo back down to stock instead of 4.3 and your temps should drop considerably. Upgrading to minecraft 1.0.1 may utilize the cores more evenly. I gotta get it myself now :) 
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December 27, 2011 8:06:58 PM

I'm surprised that your core gets up that high just from minecraft. Like you've said minecraft is a single threaded engine and games are designed to use your last core since that is the least utilized from other programs.

Temperature wise, your fine as long as it stays under 70C. It will auto shutdown at 95C and won't melt until 99C.

I'd also not use gigabyte's easytuner. While it will give you a stable overclock they go very conservative on voltage and put too much on it to keep it stable. When I used it for 4.2Ghz my vcore was put to 1.420V which is over the recommended 1.4V max. Doing it myself I set it to 4.4Ghz at 1.272V which keeps the temps lower and gives me a higher clock.
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December 27, 2011 8:42:07 PM

Crewton,

Thanks for the bit about not relying on the Gigabyte "OC for Dummies" feature. I hadn't considered that. When I had an Opteron 170, I was able to boost from 2.0 to 2.5ghz on near stock voltage; I had it too high and it was too hot for my tastes, but (as you note) it was easy to cool it down by dropping the vCore.

I will update with the outcome. That would be an easier fix than reseating the cooler, though this case has a cut-out to allow access to the cooler mount without removing the board.
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December 27, 2011 11:52:34 PM

biohazard,

Well he installed 1.0.1 and is happily playing away...with the door to the desk open.

I told him that since I (mmm...hmmm) work, and have limited time at home, that he needs to get off in a bit and let me do some tweaking. I've looked up some OC settings for this MB/CPU combination I will use, and I know keeping the vCore down will help.

Also, have you tried anything from optifine?

http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/249637-100-optifine...

They have a mod, and I've read some reviews of it, that redirect some of the tasks to another core, essentially making it play (to a limited degree) as multi-core. That might help as well.

YMMV...but I will let you know mine.
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December 28, 2011 3:15:49 AM

Glad that you got everything worked out, kzeroro :)  Thanks for the link! I'll definitely try it out
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December 28, 2011 12:41:51 PM

AGP...

As a note, he got one BSOD at 4.5ghz, but that was before I went from BIOS F6 to F8. I am learning that not all the changes made to a BIOS (fixes) are noted in the release notes, perhaps.

I did back it down to 4.4, and I like the way it doesn't simply run at 4.4, but uses it as a limit on the Turbo Boost.

You edumicated me on the difference between core temps and CPU temps. From the Touch BIOS I was able to monitor both CPU and Core Temps. The CPU temps matched what had been displayed on the other Gigabyte utility, and the core temps matched what a third party s/w showed as core temp, being somewhat higher than the CPU temp.

Perhaps the Arctic Silver is curing and temps will drop a bit. The CPU though is idling in the low 30s, 31-33, so I don't think there is a problem with the cooling. The core temps, if anything is going on, can be 5-9C higher.

THan you again..now if I can find a way to close this thread!

73,
Art
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January 4, 2012 12:47:05 AM

Best answer selected by kzeroro.
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